Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News
February 27, 2014 (San Diego) – San Diego Police Department will soon be headed up by its first female Chief. Assistant Chief Shelley Zimmerman will replace retiring Chief William Lansdowne, who steps down March 3. Lansdowne leaves office following a series of scandals including allegations of sexual misconduct by officers, so the choice of a woman to head up the department can be viewed as sending a strong signal that the city is serious about cleaning up the department's tarnished image.
Zimmerman has the support of Mayor-Elect Kevin Faulconer as well as the San Diego Police Officers Association.
“Shelley Zimmerman is the right choice for the job. She recognizes and understands the bounty of talent that we all know exists within our department. We anticipate she will be making leadership moves that will renew confidence in our department for both officers and citizens alike,” the SDPOA said. “This appointment presents a tremendous opportunity for our city. Shelley Zimmerman is a leader who can elevate our department to the level to which we aspire and the community demands.”
The SDPOA also cited her accomplishments in working with elected officials to improve communications issues, streamline hiring to address chronic understaffing, and working toward competitive compensation for officers.
Zimmerman has served in the San Diego Police Department for 31 years. She has worked in almost every division, from vice to narcotics to community affairs. She holds a degree in criminal justice from Ohio State and has also graduated from the F.B.I. Academy.
Faulconer has said he will ask Council to formally approve Zimmerman at the next Council meeting and insiders predict the appointment will sail through. Zimmerman and Faulconer are friends, having trained together for a recent bicycle event, but have said that appointment was not political in nature.